This week the beginners were learning how to paint a gradated wash, from intense / dark to pale, this is in preparation for merging colours at a later stage, and getting used to controlling the pigment flow by how much water and pigment is on the brush, remember, the paper need to be very wet, but we can have the pigment run less fast and far, by mixing our colour with a slightly drier brush separately from the last pigment pool in our palette, we don't want to pick up water from the last mix.
Also we learned, that we need to stop painting above the area we want covered, because the pigment will continue to travel downwards.
So we need to have a wide margin of clear wash, as we discovered, that the pigment flow reached the edge of our clear wash creating an unwanted hard line, so I would say clear wash at least 3 or 4 inches beyond the area you want your pigment to flow to.
See the hills painting below, if we allowed the pigment to flow below the hill in front of it, there would be no bank of mist.
We also needed to remember, not to take our brush off the surface of the paper whilst we are painting, either take your brush off the edge at the side, or take it up to the peak of the mountain before lifting off, as you know, when you lift your brush off the painting it usually leaves a pool of water, which then runs down the paper, if it's still running down from the peak, clean your brush out, dry it a little and wash upwards ( from side to side ) towards the pigment from underneath the colour, keep repeating this till you have mopped up your flood.
We painted the back 2 hill in this painting below, but we needed it to be very pale, so not much pigment, and not too much water, to limit the flow, when you have filled in the top of the hill, you can paint up to the pencil marks to tidy up the edges before lifting off at the peak.
next week, we will repeat the exercise with each hill, but please do practice your gradated washes on your hills at home on a separate practice sheet, try aiming at the pigment flow stopping at the crevice between 2 hills.
We will then move on to mixing other colours on the paper for the line of trees.